melbourne

Well, most of you know that I just got into a new relationship. I’ve been keeping it under wraps for a while since my girlfriend, in her infinite wisdom, doesn’t like publicity. I just recently revealed who it was during a trip to Melbourne about a week ago.

limited edition candy ripe

It was our first overseas trip together and it’s kinda how we got together. I like showering her with gifts – little ones that says “I love you” and lets her know that she’s always in my heart whenever and wherever I go.

bali

I do travel quite a bit – I went to Bali straight after that and we spent several days physically apart. It’s all good though, with communications the way it is nowadays, it’s always easy to keep in touch. We’re the digital generation – with data roaming and WiFi connections, using Facebook or Whatsapp to message each other is easy.

whatsapp

It’s always important to stay in touch – data has always made a lot of difference for us. I can send photos of what I’m doing to my girlfriend. I snapped a photo of something that means a lot to us (it’s an inside reference to our relationship) the moment I got off at Ngurah Rai Airport in Denpasar.

whatsapp images

Little things like this can make a lot of difference in a relationship. It shows that you’re constantly thinking of her. <3

I honestly would be hard-pressed to name disadvantages in the gift of data in a relationship…unless you’re cheating on your other half and is somewhere you’re not supposed to be – say, KL instead of overseas – and your GPS location settings on Facebook shows that. smirk

It’s all good, all the way for me.

chat

We actually got together thanks to Facebook and Whatsapp. It’s what made this relationship *possible* – how I noticed her and started chatting with her and finally made my feelings known to her. It was a big step coz I thought it would have alienated her but luckily it seemed that we were meant to be.

Data is what brought us together and I’m thankful for that coz I’m lucky to have Ling in my life. :)

relationship

Anyway, that’s my story. There’s another interesting around that’s doing the rounds on the net. I’m sure you’ve seen the Don’t Lose It All videos circulating around but in case you’re one of the few who hasn’t, you can view the previous short videos on that link.

There are 3 episodes in the rather interesting love triangle of Amy, Nick and Joe. The most riveting part about this is that the audience (which is you and me) gets to choose the plot via voting!

I won’t give out any spoilers here so go watch the videos if you haven’t already.

xpax wong fu

The final episode is, as usual, chosen by votes – it was a close one between Nick & Amy and Amy & Joe…and guess who won? Fans of Nick & Amy rejoice!

Here’s the final episode of the epic story as voted by you! It’s interactive, interesting and quite frankly, better than a lot of the other locally produced fare on air nowadays. Don’t ruin the ending if you haven’t watched the first 3 episodes – watch from the start!

It’s an interactive extravaganza like no other, with the finale aptly done! Check out the final episode at Don’t Lose It All! :)

P/S – The storyline is a little like mine – couldn’t have done it without data. Haha! You can dial *128# to pick a data pack on Xpax and load up to stay in touch 24/7 with your loved one!

yee ling

This is Yee Ling which I initially mistook for someone else. Seriously, you have a doppelgänger right here in KL – there are so many similarities it’s uncanny! It made me do a double take when I saw her at first. Heh.

I got that photo from Yee Ling’s blog – met lots of people that day, had heaps of fun! I also love this photo:

ice cream eating competition

It was taken by Merryn during the ice cream eating competition.

Team Pink dominated the rest of the contestants. It was a massacre, I wouldn’t even attempt to describe it. I do have a wonderful video from Susan though:

I couldn’t have done it without the rest of them. I’m the one with the spiky hair, Serge is the one with the hat and Susan is the girl. It’s a tag team style competition so we all had to be fast. Watch the video – we finished all the ice cream before the 2 minute time limit…and the Baskin-Robbins people told me they would have prepared more ice cream if they know how fast I could eat it. Heh.

team pink

I can stuff an entire scoop of ice cream right into my mouth, no problems. I can eat really fast when called upon and competitive eating is a hobby which I would like to explore more. Serge could more or less match my pace but it was Susan who surprised me. I didn’t think we would win without her. Definitely the fastest girl I’ve ever seen in an eating competition.

br31 vouchers

The prize was 31 coupons of ice cream scoop redeemable until end of next year. Since we had a team of 3, it divided up into 10 each, with +1. Team effort, FTW! :)

Anyway, I’ve been a bit busy as of late handling DBKL issues. :x

It’s preposterous that they’ll do this without sending me a proper summons but apparently you cannot drive on the emergency lane on the Federal Highway.

This much is obvious, but what if a traffic police directs you to that lane during peak hours?

Well, now that that’s settled, I’ll be going back to my one post per day schedule and clear up my backlog of vacation posts! w00t! :)

1. Sea jacuzzi photo in Sin Chew

sinchew
Photo from http://life.sinchew-i.com/node/2522?tid=16

I just found out about this last week from Twitter. Thanks Jessy! It’s an article about my last trip to Langkawi. I’m the one with the red phoenix tattoo on my chest, holding on to the net with one hand. Heh.

The link above to the post is in Chinese, which I can’t read, so I used the auto-translate feature in Chrome – it’s about the trip, the sea jacuzzi was fun, going to post about that sometime. :)

2. Full 30 minute interview video on Bernama Radio24

I was on Bernama Radio24 to speak on “The Lounge” a couple of months ago – I posted about my interview on radio before but I didn’t have the link to the YouTube video. You can see the entire 30+ minute radio interview below if you missed it the first time round.

It also shows the inside of the studio and me and Gerald’s expressions and gestures – it’s for an hour long talk show segment, this is the entire almost 40 minute interview, the rest of the time are filled with songs and such. Thanks for the link Junsern! :)

3. NuffnangX

I was at the launch of NuffnangX Malaysia and have been using the beta of NuffnangX before it was released. Interesting concept, it makes reading blogs on a smartphone so much easier, as I found out one day when I was waiting for the laundry to open in my car. Heh.

nuffnangx

That’s a customized USB drive made to look like a business card with a personalized “sixthseal.com” stamped on it with the beta version inside. I love collecting USB drives, this is one of my more unique ones.

Follow me on NuffnangX! :)

That’s a wrap for media related news. Have an awesome weekend everyone!

Okay, check this out! I was pretty impressed by this music video made by The Promise. They based it on this post of mine. It’s basically a satire/parody thing that they’re doing for bloggers. I like how they customize each of their videos to the personalities of the blogger.

The Promise is a band that’s trying to raise awareness of the safety of online shopping. Surf over to the We Promise You site for more details.

I have to say, it’s a great initiative by both The Promise and Text100 Malaysia. I’ve always thought Text100 was one of the best PR companies I’ve ever seen and here’s an example of it – they actually make the video before contacting you and asking you for permission to post on the site. Now that’s initiative – actually doing stuff instead of calculating ROIs and all that. It’s the only way to go for the digital front. :)

The video is hilarious, check it out! Heh!

happiness

The United States Declaration of Independence has an oft quoted line – Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. It’s misunderstood by a lot of people. Your happiness is not guaranteed…the sentence is supposed to give you the basic unalienable human rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness (emphasis mine).

What is happiness? Well, it depends on the individual but it is your right to seek your own happiness. To me, happiness is a state of mind where you’re content with everything in your life.

flying

Happiness is something money cannot buy. A lot of people are unhappy about their financial situation but I believe that’s an unnecessary worry. The Chinese has a proverb that goes “Money is something that you can always earn back when you lose it”. There’s another phrase that goes “There will be water if God wills it” but that comes from the less reputable and more modern Dark Tower series of books by Stephen King. ;)

roman bath

Happiness is a state of mind that I always try to strive for. I’m happy when I’m doing the things I like such as travelling. It enriches me and makes me a more understanding and better person when I meet new people and learn about new cultures. I’m even happier when I’m spending quality time with loved ones – friends, family, my girlfriend.

It’s all too easy to get caught up in the rat race and forget about the simple things in life that lifts your mood:

  • Finding a parking space as soon as you enter a full car park
  • The smell of freshly cut grass
  • Laughing at corny jokes
  • Having a baby smile at you
  • A fellow commuter stopping to let you drive out of a particularly busy exit
  • Waking up and realizing it’s the weekend so you can sleep in
  • Watching a sweet TVC that makes you smile

These are all little things which makes yout day just that little bit brighter. It has a cumulative effect and happiness is highly contagious – it’s like laughter. It’s meant to be shared. :)

I watched the Cadbury TVC and repeated it twice coz it was just so sweet. I found it adorable – the simple sweet joy (pun not intended) that permeates the entire commercial. It has all the elements done right – the humor, the camaraderie of neighborhood love, and a dash of romance.

resort

I took it upon myself to make a video similar to that. I was in Miri, Sarawak at that time to help my girlfriend move her stuff to KL. We spent a weekend in the Marriott Resort and Spa in Miri. It’s located right on the beach by the South China Sea and we booked a chalet facing the pool and sea.

You just need to open the sliding glass door to get out. There’s a balcony which is less than 10 meters from the pool – it’s almost like having a pool right at your doorstep!

view

I thought up the idea of having a series of unfortunate events much like the original TVC. The entire video was shot over a period of 2 days. I didn’t have a professional videographer so I had to think of how to get the scenes right.

I also wanted a “happy” vibe so everything is shot in daylight – it’s bright and sunny with no indoor scenes except the initial phone call. I’ll go through the more interesting bits to give you a behind-the-scenes peek at the making of the video. :)

The splash

tripod

The first mishap you see (the one where I exit the house just to get splashed by a wayward neighbor’s dirty mop water) is done using a tripod. The one holding the bucket is…*drumroll*…Jeanie herself. The bucket was too heavy for her and we had to do two takes. I ended up changing coz the first splash totally failed – she went into the scene, propelled by the momentum and weight of the bucket of water.

We filled it with less water in the second take. I didn’t want to use up the rapidly dwindling backpack of attire I brought along. :x

The car not being able to start

You’ll see the same car in the next scene so I did an extreme close up so you won’t see the make, model or color of the car. :)

The accident scene

car

This one wasn’t too hard to do. It only required the two of us to pull it off. I filmed Jeanie driving towards me. I told her to put her foot on the gas and not worry about hitting me.

After that part was filmed, I passed the camera to her and she filmed me being caught like a deer in the headlights as the car (apparently) came barreling down on me.

The next scene was me twitching on the car bonnet after being “hit”. It took some video transitions to make it look comically realistic (without actually hitting me with the car).

It was originally longer but I thought the bit where I ended up wandering about dazed after being hit was a little too much so I cut it from the editing board. You can watch the full original scene here:

I spent a lot of time editing the videos – it’s a good learning process but it took me the better part of 3 days of almost continuous tweaking to get the timing and synchronization right. I’m a newbie in video production, thus the learning curve.

The sea

beach

This is one of the scenes that I took out of the video as I thought it won’t contribute much to it. The beach walk also had to be sped up 4x so it won’t drag on.

The underwater scene

underwater

This is a bit of a retrofit. It was meant to be all fluff – a cool video taken underwater. I have a waterproof digicam and I figured it would be nifty to take a video underwater. I knew it won’t make much sense since I appear with my shirt on in the next scene…until I saw someone being escorted out by security.

pool

The Marriott has a strict policy – only guests are allowed to use the resort facilities and The Proverbial Light Bulb (TM) came on. It shall be the scene where I evade the guards! smirk

I put that in the caption (used the Confucius angle), and the rest, as they say, is history.

The end scene

people

After all those trials and tribulations, we finally shot the last scene beside the pool. There’s this comfy sofa and we enlisted the help of a kind lady from France who was more than obliged to help us film this scene. The inter-cuts you see at the end is filmed by us – I did her and she did me.

The chocolate

cadbury old

I swear this was the hardest part of the video – we went to several different shops in Miri but none of them had Cadbury Dairy Milk. They have others – the ones with nuts, Old Gold, and others…but not the original. It took us 2 hours before we stumbled upon a shop that sells it. I bought 5 x 75 gram bars.

cadbury new

I then realized that it was the old packaging when I chanced upon a shop with the new packaging. I bought more of it and re-shot some of the scenes again. I have a lot of chocolate now but I love Cadbury Dairy Milk so it’s all good. :D

cadbury dairy milk

We actually did share it – there were a couple of kids running around in the resort and I passed them several bars. I thought their parents would balk – candy from strangers and all that, but they thanked us for it and one even bought us drinks from the poolside bar.

poolside

The kids loved it. One of them came up to me and she showed me her toy – a launcher she was playing with beside the pool that launches a baby dinosaur up into the air by pumping air into the tube. That was the highlight of doing the video – sharing the Cadbury chocolate and seeing the little ones enjoying it by the pool during their holiday. :)

Here’s my masterpiece:

What do you think?

Do you need a dose of happiness? Join the Cadbury Facebook page and get some! :)

monthsary

The 7th of March 2011 marks the one month milestone in my relationship with Jeanie. I’ve actually known her for longer than that but we officially got together on the 7th of February 2011. That makes today our monthsary! :D

movie

I still remember the day we decided to get into a relationship. It just so happened that we’re both in Sibu during Chinese New Year and decided to go out to catch a movie together. I don’t recall when we started falling for each other but we both knew there was something since we found excuses to hang out every single day.

kissing

I think the reason we were so hesitant at first was due to the distance – neither of us believe in the feasibility of a long distance relationship. However, we’ve decided to commit to each other and Jeanie has flown over twice to spend time with me. I’ll be going over to Miri soon to live there for two weeks.

sibu

It takes a lot of effort and sacrifice for a long distance relationship to work and it has been a long time since I’ve been in a serious relationship. Nevertheless, we’re determined to make this happen despite the challenges and we’re doing great so far. :)

I made a video as a monthsary surprise for Jeanie and showed it to her at the stroke of midnight. I’m glad she likes it.

I love you Jeanie! <3

bloody hand

I wanted this video to be as real as possible. I really punched the wall and that caused the various scabs from my Krabi trip to open up and stain the walls with blood. You’ll notice (if you have eyes like a hawk) that I was wearing a Band Aid during some of the scenes. smirk

It’s not that visible though since Cindy (who has just about anything in her condo) has one that is flesh colored. I only put it on coz it won’t stop bleeding and it’ll keep on dripping…like on her floor. Anyway, we had a lot of ideas for this actually:

Particleboard fake wall
This is something that you can actually punch through. Plywood would splinter while particleboard will have the same effect as the original video. Trust me, I’m from Sibu – Timber Town. :p

However, due to time and budget constraints we couldn’t do this.

Simulated bar fight
Actually the only reason we didn’t do this was due to logistical issues. We didn’t have a breakable bottle prop but it’s easy to use some blunt object to the same effect. However, it is highly unlikely that any bar would let us use their premises to do even simulated violence so we scrapped this. Sigh.

Self immolation
I REALLY WANTED TO DO THIS. I searched high and low for heptane – the only safe way to do this. Of course my definition of “safe” means there is a better than 10% likelihood of not getting third degree burns and a 50% chance of actually pulling it off. I read that heptane is used in anti-bacterial washes so I went to a lot of pharmacies until a kind pharmacist told me that it’s not used in Malaysia.

I called up several chemical suppliers but none of them will sell it to me. hmph

Heptane produces a warm flame just like gasoline (it’s also added to the petrol you pump at the gas station) instead of a sissy blue flame. The trick is NOT to douse yourself in it (that would send you to the hospital or the morgue) but to saturate a piece of mop (or something like that) with it and have someone run it over your body.

It will feel warm but it won’t burn you per se. It’s the vapors that burn in this scenario, not the liquid. However, you have to remove all your hair though so I shaved my pits and wanted to shave my head but alas, no heptane.

This video was actually shot over two weekends – the first weekend was spent doing the storyboard and we actually completed filming in 5 hours. We had another 2 ½ hour shoot the next weekend where we roped in strangers to help us and it turned out pretty good.

vitamin c

This is one of Cindy’s quirky notes around her house. I haven’t had my Vitamin C but I did get a good dose of Vitamin B from the Guinness that I drank. smirk

The Arthur’s Day Man of Action contest is still on. Just film a video and post the link to Guinness Malaysia’s Facebook. Each qualified entry will automatically win two passes to Arthur’s Day. w00t! I can’t wait! =D

Check out my original post.

Here’s the video again just in case you missed it.

working

I love this song to bits! I’m a huge fan of Eminem and when Cindy suggested that we team up to do Eminem feat. Rihanna – Love The Way You Lie, I was more than intrigued. The first time I watched the video, it provoked a very strong emotional response. It’s just one of those music videos you wish you directed. Pure ingenuity distilled into a 5 minute AV clip.

I’m very proud of the final production but let me just ramble on about how this materialized. I have watched this video countless of times and gotten the gist of the story behind it. It’s has a theme that most of us can relate to and the powerful message behind it acts as a warning against how relationships can go really bad and raises awareness of domestic violence.

movie shoot

The all star cast features Eminem and Rihanna singing with inter cuts to scenes of Megan Fox and Dominic Monaghan (best known as Charlie from Lost) – a chronological mashup of how they met and their current situations and attempts to salvage it. Megan Fox donated all her earnings to SOJOURN – a charity for battered women and their children. It is ultimately about empowering women.

Anyway, back to our filming, I realized that we hit a snag coz my sunburn from Krabi was starting to peel really bad at the time. It had to be peeled off before we can start filming so I started with the storyboards.

sunburn

The camera angles are replicated almost exactly as in the video and although there were some scenes that we cannot do e.g. setting myself on fire (it requires heptane to be even remotely safe) and the bar fight (don’t have a breakable bottle prop) we managed to somehow do the video and still remain true to the original.

There are multiple shots from multiple angles and it took 5 hours of shooting to complete the video. I tried to edit the video myself but Windows Live Movie Maker does not have the capacity to do this so I engaged Haze Long to help me with it. She’s really good considering there are over 100 video files and managed to capture the essence of what we wanted.

The spitting scene in particular was rather hard to do – it appears that normal saliva does not propel in an arc that we wanted so Cindy used water inside her mouth to do it instead. She has the exact same outfit as Megan was wearing in the video and had to dry it with a hairdryer several times due to the number of takes we had to do.

cindy drying clothes

Special thanks to Fresh for being our videographer!

I present to you – our finished production:

It was a lot of fun to do this project and see it come to life. I am very proud of the final cut and even though it was a lot of work as well, the satisfaction of doing a video that came out as good as this is nothing short of nirvana.

Here are some outtakes from the video:

This is how we know spitting doesn’t look good on video.

I had to blow out Cindy’s candle while not appearing in the frame and what made this really funny was Fresh’s deadpan comment at the end. Heh! We both laughed so hard.

The reason we did this video is to participate in the Arthur’s Day Man of Action contest. This involves you getting creative (like our video – we did the parts in between so it sounds like Eminem and Rihanna is singing about us) and filming a music video involving your favorite artist or band.

Just post the video on YouTube and the video link at the Guinness Malaysia Facebook page with your name and video title (it must start with Arthur’s Day 2010:) and you’ll get a chance to win a trip to Dublin to visit the famous St James Gate Brewery and have a pint of the black stuff – it’s as fresh as it gets, any closer to the source, you’ll be drowning in the vat. ;)

Oh, and each and every qualified entry will automatically win two passes to Arthur’s Day (which requires no further introduction)! Everyone knows about the legendary Arthur’s Day and you don’t want to miss it – I went to the last one and enjoyed it thoroughly. Arthur’s Day to me is an outdoor concert with great music and smooth pints of Guinness. It’s the ambience that pulls me rather than the lineup! You can purchase your tickets at the site.

There’s also a Man of Vision contest going on where you play Robert Langdon and decipher clues in an image at the same site!

Anecdote: The original video has Dominic’s hand with “Cindy” and a 555 number. We used “Megan” for this video as a tribute to this coincidence.

Watch it in full screen for the best experience! You want to go to Ireland? The winners will be announced 21st September. You’ll have to top this video to do it, else watch out for blog updates involving titles like “Top of the morning” when we win the contest. ;)

start

There has been a deluge of spoofs on the highly viral and successful Heineken Walk-In-Fridge commercial. One of the funnier ones I’ve seen is the Walking Fridge spoof and all the parody videos share two things in common…Heineken and The Scream (TM).

scream

No, not the painting by Edvard Munch.

opener

It’s the outrageous expression of joy red blooded males manifest by ecstatic screaming. I can’t remember how many spoofs I’ve seen, but if I had RM 1 for every time I’ve seen a parody of the video, I’ll probably be a Datuk by now. Datuk Evil. ;)

mv

I decided to make my very own spoof video, and enlisted the help of the Kamen over lunch at Chili’s one fine Saturday afternoon at MidValley. The script was scribbled on a piece of paper (kindly furnished by the waitress) and we discussed it over drinks (the final scene is actually in Chili’s – a test run of sorts).

fridge

I tucked the script (the technical term for this is “piece of paper with my scribbles”) into my front pocket for safekeeping and we proceeded to purchase several bottles of Heineken before getting my car. Thus armed, we drove outside MidValley coz I wanted the mall as the backdrop – Dr, I mean Datuk Evil’s lair of operations, where nefarious activities and ridiculously low demands of ransom in lieu of totally annihilation are conducted.

cam

I parked in front of The Gardens, hoping that we’ll have time to film the entire take without mall security shooing us away. I didn’t have a nifty red button to open up a trapdoor to send unwelcome mall cops into the fiery depths of my basement so it’s a good thing that we wrapped everything up with no unwanted attention. ;)

lift

Except for this dude who was washing the windows of The Garden’s office block…he actually offered to let me go up on his contraption for filming and I would have agreed if not for this:

parking

I was parked in front of a no parking sign and would have to beat a hasty retreat if asked.

gab

It was really fun, Kamen came dressed to the nines coz she just came from a law debate so I cast her as a combination of Number 2 and Frau Farbissina. We actually took turns filming each other, passing the digicam back and forth for each scene and I must say that the end result turned out surprisingly well.

Check it out for yourself:

Heineken: RM 7:49 x 4
Bottle opener: RM 10.40
Saving the planet: PRICELESS

saving

Heineken – SERVING SAVING THE PLANET

It’s surprising how good ideas come in little scraps of paper. :)

tongue piercing 4

I went and re-pierced my tongue just now. Contrary to popular believe, no, I did not reuse the old stud, although I love it to bits. I’ve been looking to get another black one with a gemstone on top, but alas, the piercing shop does not carry it.

Thus, I decided to go for the bling factor and went gold like the tongue piercing I did in 2006. It cost me RM 130 at 1Utama, which is higher than what the good people at Bukit Bintang charge.

tongue piercing 4 hitomi

Hitomi shot the video, we were at 1U for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

This post is to reassure you that I did not reuse the old stud, S. ;)

I didn’t even have my tongue piercing on Saturday.

Thanks Charlz for a great weekend! =D

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